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Extended season for produce among topics for Season Extension Day on May 6

LAMBERTON -- Are you interested in learning about low-input methods of growing produce earlier in the spring and later in the fall? Season Extension Day at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center near Lamberton is May 6 and will highlight a number of topics relating to earlier and later vegetable and fruit production techniques.

Topics and speakers will include a review of the center high tunnel's first season with staff members Kelley Belina and LaMoine Nickel; managing fertility in high tunnels with Carl Rosen, professor and extension soil scientist from the U of M; information on growing raspberries in high tunnels with Steve Poppe, horticulture scientist from the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris; construction of, and production in, a passive solar winter greenhouse, with Chuck Waibel and Carol Ford, owners of a winter community-supported agriculture business in Milan; and information on a new project using a movable greenhouse and quick hoops to extend vegetable production in Mountain Lake.

There will be a tour of the Southwest Research and Outreach Center's high tunnel. In addition, Robin Martinek, state agronomist from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will explain the new Environmental Quality Incentives Program cost-share program for high tunnels, which will have made its 2009 funding decisions by this time.

Registration is at 8:45 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. Cost is $15 and includes refreshments, lunch and handouts. Registration forms are available on line at or by calling 507-752-7372. Due to space considerations, registration and payment are necessary before April 28.